More than 21 million people are injured each year in accidents around the home. The National Association of Home Builders is partnering with Builders Mutual Insurance this year to promote Safety 365: a way to remind home owners to be safe every day in 2018.
The five most frequent home accidents include poisoning, falls, choking or suffocation, drowning and fires. It’s sobering stuff – but the good news is that many accidents are preventable. Here’s how:
Poisoning. Store household and chemical products – including those colorfully tempting but very dangerous laundry detergent “pods” – securely and out of children’s reach. Install a battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide detector and remember to have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances serviced yearly.
Falls. These are a big problem for seniors: Falls are the No. 1 cause of death for people 65 and older. Remove trip hazards such as throw rugs, electrical cords, clutter and debris. Make sure you have adequate lighting in your home, especially on stairways. Install grab bars in the bathroom near the toilet and in the shower – or find Aging-in-place contractor to help make your home safer for older adults in your home.
Choking. Do you know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver when someone is choking on a piece of food or foreign object? Take a class and go online for a short tutorial. Remember to childproof your home to keep small objects out of reach of children. Always supervise children while eating and playing.
Drowning. Most of these deaths occur among small children, and most can be prevented just by paying closer attention. It’s easy to be distracted by your cell phone when your child is happily playing in the bathtub or wading pool, but these accidents can happen in seconds. Always be vigilant when your child is in or near water.
Fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports that cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Heating equipment is the second-most common cause. That’s another reason to have your heating systems checked – and most importantly, to ensure that you have the right number of smoke detectors on each floor and that each smoke detector actually works.